Interestingly, I don’t use these media too much as a journalist. I’m very—you know, most of my book is anonymously sourced—and for me, some of these things are difficult to handle. I need to be on them, but I don’t want to expose my sources in any way, or my reporting techniques. I find them great for the promotion of a finished product. They’re also useful for starting a conversation about something I’m interested in. But when it comes to ferreting out facts, they’re just not that useful.

What’s your take on Twitter, which Google CEO Eric Schmidt just called “a poor man’s e-mail system”?

That’s totally inaccurate. People don’t use Twitter for email at all—he’s obviously never been on it [laughing].

So you don’t use Twitter in your work?

I do use Twitter. I use it to promote myself and my book.

And as a journalist?

Occasionally I’ve thrown out questions. I haven’t gotten great answers. It works for other people, but the kind of questions I ask require answers that are more than 140 characters long.

I’m looking at your own MySpace profile right now. I see you’re a Libra. I also see that you’ve got only twenty-nine friends—shouldn’t you be pushing on this a little harder?

Those twenty-nine friends—I worked really hard to get them! I’ve been trying to get friends on MySpace since I started this book, which is two years ago. And without even trying, I have amassed 300 Facebook friends; they’re just rolling in. Our demographic is not on there! My generation of thirtysomething professionals, people working in media and things like that? They are not on MySpace.

Won’t Tila Tequila be your friend?

Tila wouldn’t cooperate either.

James Marcus is the deputy editor of Harper’s Magazine. His next book, Glad to the Brink of Fear: A Portrait of Emerson in Eighteen Installments, will be published in 2015.